Being a favorite safari destination for most, Kenya offers a range of accommodation types some of which include camping. Camping sites in Kenya are spread across all parks where specific sites are identified as an ideal camping area based on the scenery of the surrounding and availability of resources. Camping in Kenya is either private or park run and can be classified as affordable or luxurious depending on the facilities available at each camp and, as such cater for a wide range of clientele.
Planning for Camping Sites in Kenya
Kenya camping is possible around the country, but as there are not that many campsites, it takes a bit of planning. The ones that are available range from private campsites to park/public campsites. The private campsites tend to be with good facilities – hot shower and flush toilets – wood is provided as well. They are mostly in shaded locations, and also come with a good possibility of a restaurant and a variety of activities.
Park campsites have mostly basic facilities – long-drop toilet and showers (cold, most of the time) – to no facilities at all where you have to be fully self-sufficient, bringing everything including water. The park campsites are considerably more expensive than the private campsites, from around US$25 (as of 2010) for camping per person, with the additional cost of park and vehicle fees. For non-residents in Kenya, the private campsites are better value for money.
Sometimes tents can be hired in private campsites. If bringing your own tent, make sure it has a sewn-in groundsheet and can zip securely to keep out insects, especially mosquitoes and ants. Some camping sites in Kenya do provide bandas (small huts with a bed, some with basic facilities) where you need to bring all your bedding and equipment. The best time to go is just about all year round, except maybe the middle of the rainy season.
The Preferred Camping Sites in Kenya
Different sites also dictate the type of camp to be set up putting into account the frequency of visits to the region. Other camps can be determined by the type of activity available at the site for instance mountain climbing or hiking where guests use the facility for not more than one night at a time. Camping Sites in Kenya quite adventurous and ideal for those seeking to be closer to nature in an enjoyable rugged outdoor.
Kenya’s Maasai Mara is one of Kenya’s prime game viewing areas and boasts of a variety of camping sites including little governors, described as an intimate campsite with 17 luxury tented camp tucked around a large watering hole that teems with both birds and wildlife. The camp is accessed by a boat ride across the Mara River, then an escorted walk through the riverine forest. Vehicles are left on the far river bank, and the camp is therefore quiet and undisturbed. The camp is unfenced and wildlife is free to wander freely through the camp.
Another one among the camping sites in Kenya is at the renowned Amboseli National Park. Here you will find the outstanding Tortilis camp superbly situated in one of Amboseli’s areas of Acacia Tortilis woodland, with the grandiose backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, and the World’s highest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The campsite affords guests an adventurous stay through game drives, walks, sundowners and bush meals take place both inside the park, and within a private 30,000 acre game concession.
Located midway between the forests of Kilimanjaro and the perennial swamps of Amboseli Park is the spectacular Ol kanjau tented safari camp. The area is the center of Kenya’s richest African Savannah Ecosystem not to mention the best studied and most understood. The simple structure of a traditional tented safari camp preserves the most direct contact with the natural world that we can sustain.
Camping sites in Kenya also includes the semi arid areas such as the Samburu national reserve. Here we find the stunning Larsens tented camp, a legendary Dane credited with defining a luxury safari under canvas. Bordering the Uaso Nyiro River on one side and nothing to see but pristine nature on the other three this campsite offers you a memorable and adventurous camping safari in Kenya. The accommodation comprises of 20 free standing luxurious tented camps each with a private balcony with spectacular views of the surrounding scenery.
Worth mentioning is Samburu Intrepids tented camp. The site’s characteristics include a dry, rugged and stunning, Samburu’s countryside, a site that is barren and sensual, with its iconic loaf shaped Lolokowe Mountain and hills spreading in every horizon. Its life lung is the Uaso Nyiro River meanders through its craggy terrain full of stones, thorn bush and the forked Doum palms. Found in plenty in this region is the drought resistant animals.
A trip to the south of Kenya, lands you in the popular Tsavo National park with its own share as one of the impressive camping sites in Kenya. A good example is the Galdessa camp in the eastern part of the park along the southern bank of the Galana River, partially concealed by coppices of Doum palms. The camp’s lounge and dining room are designed facing the river ensuring frequent wildlife sightings without the need to leave camp, as the wildlife seeks relief from the heat of the day in the cool waters of the river.
Camping in Kenya-understand the country’s weather and seasons
Kenya’s climate is both tropical and temperate, with hot and humid year-round weather on the coast and cooler, wetter weather inland and up in the highlands. Northern areas generally remain dry and Nairobi features warm summers and cool winters. Kenya’s rainy seasons are from April to June and from October to December, therefore the best times to visit are during the boreal summer (July to September) and the boreal winter (January and February). Prices during these times are obviously more expensive but the conditions are good.
The weather is constant throughout the year around the low of 30’s, while inland temperatures will be slightly lower. As evidenced above camping is available in most parts with the availability of various tented camps in each region. Mentioned above are some of the most popular with outstanding services. Enjoy your trip to the best camping sites in Kenya.